Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Secret?

so apparently there's this book and a movie about this "secret" which turns out to be something called the law of attraction, which is that your thoughts and the things you visualize will come to you, regardless of what you feel about those thoughts. It seems that this is a method that can be used to alter one's life and bless people with happiness, or so it very grandly describes on the website. Thought it would be something interesting to look into and was wondering if anyone happens to know anything about it

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good and evil part 2. Experiences, and how differing experiences causes problems.

Yeah i know i'm kind of jumping parts but whatever.

At the end of the first part, i did conclude that wisdom is knowing that what you know is only the perception you've taken on due to your experiences. These experiences end up shaping our being and turn us into who we are today. I guess in a sense you can't really blame people who lived in poverty for being assholes as a result, but that get's into a whole different tangent about discussing whether the ends justify the means. In any case, these experiences end up shaping who we are, and most of the times, the character that's created ends up being what separates our personality from someone else's personality. Of course, from these experiences, there can be various different reactions to them. For example, a child that is abused by other children for being a minority (i have experience with this), may either turn into a major cynic or become a really good person who tries to help people. From a psychological standpoint, the second result may seem to make no sense, but if you think about it, there are people who experience the good side of living along with the bad for long enough to realize that they don't want others to suffer the painful part of life. The closer you get to fully experiencing both sides of the world, the more knowledge you'll have (although we have already established that knowledge isn't real, but for the sake of this discussion we'll coin knowledge as a realistic concept that actually exists). What people decide to do with this knowledge, of course, changes based off experience. Going back to the example with the child, if no real love is shown for that child, then the chances are greatly escalated that he/she will become cynical and hate life, but there is also a chance that at least one person will come along with the kindness to "save" that child (i am reluctant to use the word save because it honestly isn't necessarily a bad thing to be a cynic. Again, these are all perceptions that have been burned into our head by propaganda and stereotypes). In that event, the child may either see that person as their idol and try to live up to them, or take his kindness to heart and live based on that mentality. In both situations, the pain suffered from the childhood life will probably linger on, expressed in the child's personality every once in a while, which is normal, most experiences tend to have an impact on a person's life. Oh, and while we're on the topic of how experiences and propoganda affect our personality, everyone is racist. Get over yourself and look past those differences because they honestly won't mean anything in the long run of a friendship/ relationship.

I'm sure that the most common thing that you'll ever hear from anyone who's ever suffered depression or is emo is "no one understands how I feel!" followed by what seems like childish rant about what may seem like either actually problematic things or just stupid pointless things that really aren't a big deal. Most of the time, we'll brush this off and tell the child to suck it up and be a man, but is that really the best advice we can give? Probably not. The major problem we have with dealing with people like this is that the feeling of lackluster existance is not something that everyone has experienced, and for the people who have experienced it, its probably the only thing they ever really pay enough attention to to care about. One of the reasons i'm writing this chapter is because recently (at least relatively recently to when i was writing this) I experienced that feeling of "no one understands how i feel." for myself, and after pulling myself out of it (with the help of friends who said more than just "deal with it," mind you), i realized that its not the problems that induce the sensation of "no one understands," its the emotional trauma and pain that causes that feeling. Just telling people to be proactive and make new friends won't help, either because that's not the main reason for the problem, or because you're probably giving the same stupid advice that everyone else already has. If you get anything out of what I'm saying in this chapter, realize that whenever someone talks to you about anything regarding their problems or their pains, its because they want YOU to do something about it, not some "stupid" (in their eyes) advice that they've probably heard a million times. The response "I'm sorry, what can I do to help you?" is so much more meaningful to that person than "well, I'm sorry but you have to grow and deal with it", even if that you end up thinking of nothing to do for that person, due to the key reason that putting yourself on the line for that person shows that you care so much more than just directing them to someone else or themselves. To my experience "make more friends/find better friends" doesn't really seem very different from "get off my back, man." Although, since I've bashed at you enough, i would like to point out that i do think people who say "no one understands" are pretty stupid because they tend to fail to realize that there are plenty of people who go through the exact same thing, and also because when they complain to other people who can actually relate to their experiences, instead of receiving comfort, I notice that they tend to just reinforce this feeling of lack of understanding, such as with the response "yeah, people are just so fucked up because they don't get us at all," versus the comforting message mentioned above. (I'm starting to wonder about the interconnectedness of emo society...) Humans differ through experiences, and the biggest problem is that our experiences always tend to be so one sided, we can never really offer the advice that we should to people, because we haven't experienced their side of the pain to know what they want. (note that the "no one understands" example is only one example of various similar situations.)

Chapter 2: Society. Part 1: Structure

We all know that society exists in many forms, and we all know that we generally prefer one over the other, so i'll just go a little bit in-depth about them.
The people who lead can range from many things, including the one who has slightly more authority over others, one single dictator-type leader, to a leader with people to keep him in check. Of course, the two main types of compositions of government in societies today are democracy and Communism, or at least they're the two most well known. It is possible for followers to also be leaders, banding together to decide things and keep things in order. Among the people who lead are people who enforce the laws created by those who do so. This can range from police, courts, the army, and other related peoples. Although they may not necessarily lead people, they do push them towards certain societal habits with their actions and authority, so this grants them enough power to be considered leaders, in my opinion. The ruler of a society, which can range from one to a group of people designate laws (But don't necessarily have to enforce them) and protect the society. He/she/they also handle diplomatic situations between multiple societies. The ruler's main purpose is to make sure that the society thrives and doesn't fall apart. Even Rulers who seemed like terrible people were merely trying to make their own society better for themselves if you look at it from their point of view (big example: Hitler). Rulers can do this job by controlling the people (dictator), enticing them towards a situation that seems or is favorable to them so that people will want to follow him/her/them (example: the way McDonalds sells larger sizes for less), or by giving people the power to decide certain things for themselves (democracy). There are problems with each of these styles of ruling, as to be explained.
Ruling harshly with an iron fist can go one of two ways: Total obedience without fail and appreciation towards the dictator, or an eventual revolt. The former can only be achieved if the society is COMPLETELY isolated, something with only North Korea has really achieved, and even that is to an extent because North Korea and South Korea seem to influence each other. Otherwise, if people are given an opportunity to see another side of life, they will try to embrace it. Its a lot like this: If you live your entire life in a darkness and never saw light, you'd mostly like respond "darkness? what's that?" if someone asked you why you lived in such a dark place. This is because you've never experienced light to know that darkness is a concept that contrasts with another. Once you experience light though, you'll want to embrace it because human nature trends towards change. Dictatorships are the same thing. The other problem with this society is that if the ruler screw up, all of the blame and hate will be placed on the ruler, unless you've achieved that isolated community, then they'll still love you anyways because they can't differentiate right from wrong, and will probably blame themselves because the Dictator is supposed to be god, in a sense.
The second method is reminiscent of the quote "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," and is actually a bit of a branch off a dictatorship. Of course, if you're actually a just ruler who create very good conditions for the people, you're not fooling anyone, but it is hard to maintain that justness because it costs a lot out of the society both economically and socially to do so. Contradicting ideals between peoples (liberal vs conservative) make this best case scenario society extremely hard to achieve. On the other hand, if the Ruler(s) create a situation that seems good but is actually not (global warming?, Taxes, etc.), There will be people who will catch on, and in the end that will affect the rulers competence negatively.
The third is the democracy we have today, in which the followers actually have quite a bit of power, in choosing the ruler and other laws. This seems good for us, because we get to choose our rulers, but it actually isn't all that much different in terms of the good and bad. The only real difference is that we get to choose who to love or be pissed at. In fact, i find it sad that you people can make fun of and hate on people you elected, its pathetic. Well actually, i guess i can understand part of the reason: Unless the election is won by a landslide, it kind of makes sense for a percentage of the people who didn't want the person who was elected to not support his actions, and propoganda can also be a factor. I still think its pathetic though. Moving on. One of the major problems with democracy is that the common people are stupid. People who gain roles as presidents and senate know how to do their job and what a new law may or may not entail, but the common people, not as much. Its like giving a baby a contraption with 2 buttons, one which saves thousands of people's lives, and one which does the opposite. And if you add corruption and fail to read the fine print or between the lines which a law may entail, us people can make some really stupid mistakes in what we think we want. Its like painting a smiley face on the button that kills 1000 people and painting a skull and crossbones on the one that saves 1000 people. The key issue that is accompanied with a democracy is "do the people know what they actually want?" and that becomes big issue in these controversies like global warming and the war in Iraq.
I would like to mention that there's a 4th theoretical way for a society to be ruled, and that is for all of the followers to band together to create the rules and coexist peacefully. The only real problem with this, is that ideals will be so scattered among people that coming to a consensus will be near impossible, and i can't think of any situation where a society like this could actually exist without problems.
Aside from the way people rule, we also have to factor in how many people are ruling at once, and who is keeping who in check.
If the ruler is a single individual, he then has all of the power. It's basically a 50/50 chance that he will either be corrupt, or he won't. if he isn't, then all is good for everyone, if he is, then refer to the dictatorship paragraph i mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if the ruler is actually a group of rulers, or a system of groups of people to keep one another in check, then this changes. The rule of thumb is, the more people, the more corruption there is likely to be. Another rule of thumb is, less people managing the government and people will yield more extreme results on the way the society is ruled, and more people will be more standard and generic,which refers back to the single ruler concept. I'll use coin tosses for this example. If you flip a coin once, your rate of heads to tails will be 100 percent or 100 percent tails. If you flip it twice, its 100 H, 100 T, or 50/50. 3 times, you now have 33/66, or 66/33. the more times you choose to flip the coin, the more likely you are to come to a 50-50 concensus; if you flip a coin 1000 times and get 470 Heads and 530 Tails, thats a very small difference. With people, theres going to be even less because people aren't black and white. some lean a bit both ways on some issues, and therefore theres even more homogeneity with more people governing. Of course, there always is the chance that every single person will think exactly the same way, but that is so unlikely it's out of the question.
So now we get to the common people, which i'll refer to as us for the time being. we simply follow what's given to us, unless we don't like it. If we don't, we can just revolt, or peacefully call for change, depending on how the ruler(s) are. If we are the rulers, then we can meet to change it ourselves, but again, cannot imagine such a society existing. The type of us people that exist is extremely ranged. There are people who devoutly follow the rules, and it ranges from people who passively follow it without care for occasional errors, and there are those who deny the laws and wish for change. (i'm somewhere in the middle of the last two.) Depending on the ruler(s), these ratio's change. An interesting thing i'd like to add though is that this is greatly affected by religion, especially here in the US. I mean, Under God is in the pledge of allegiance, and In God We Trust is on our coins. So the more influence the religion has on people, the more willing people generally are to follow the government, that is, if the government aligns itself with the religion in question, even though religion is generally not SUPPOSED to have any influence on government (Prop 8, haha). Another interesting concept is people who are "insane". on certain levels, i'd consider myself insane because i hate a LOT of society's rules, and the way people behave in them. Social insanity is basically a huge deviation from the societal norm. This person's opinion is usually meaningless to the rest of society, but every once in a while he/she/they can become a major influence. (one can say jonah and the giver of knowledge is insane, Hitler is another good example, before people actually started believing in him. Fight Club, the book, is a GREAT example). I guess in essence another word for insane is minority, but people who lack sanity generally don't travel in groups because their ideals may not be the same or contradict each others, and at least with minorities its a group that shares ideals and is big enough to actually mean something in the eyes of others. Oh, i would like to use this moment to say that discrimination SPAWNS from the desire to obtain power, but is only denoted or implemented when the societal norm shifts enough towards this idea that it becomes okay to do so.
Basically the way this game we call Society works is that The government wants one thing, and the people want another thing. Generally what the government wants is something that the people don't want, and vice versa, But the thing is, what the people want require some of what the government wants, and what the government want's requires the people's approval. This is the way things work in a democratic society. In a dictatorship, The ruler basically says "screw you i control everything and i can do whatever the hell i want and you have to follow, now do as i say and love your ruler!" Unfortunately for him/her/them, the chances of that working are about 1-2 percent. In the end, the basic game is there are 2 units. The ruler, and the people following. The ruler's job is to create a situation that the followers will like with the resources he has. The follower's job is to point out when the ruler is doing a shitty job and toss him out. If the ruler want's power though, then you could take a chance and go the dictatorship way, or you could do the "honest and just" ruler method. The only problem with that method is that because ideals of people are so scattered, its hard to make a good compromise and lead into a golden age.
The best ruler is the one who can maintain and generate a strong society for all. This does not necessarily entail that the ruler bring on a golden age, because if you think about it, improving a crappy society into a decent society doesn't really make one a good ruler if the great leap didn't really bring the society to high standards, but then again, that does depend on what situation the society is in compared to others. If a Leader was able to simply remove all of the poverty in Africa, i would consider him a Great ruler simply because that task would be hard to accomplish. If you have the resources to remove poverty and then some to BEGIN with, and all you can really do is just remove the poverty, then you're really not that great of a leader if you had the potential to do more with what you had.
A society merely has to consist of these aforementioned things to be considered as such. A classroom can be considered a society, up to a school, city, to a nation, country, and the world. Actually, the world isn't a society, it lacks a universal ruler, and god doesn't necessarily work because there are multiple religions. Societies also generally develop in a certain way as well, at least country/city status countries.
-Generally start small, unless its a branch of another, larger society.
-Almost always has one Major Ruler, or at least a figurehead.
-If isolated, develops with a strong attachment to said society, if not, attachment is based on the individual's preference
-Generally if a society enters a peak or a low, they will experience the opposite soon after, unless by war.
-If a society is detached, they will generally always want to break apart from each other. (Britain & US, Pakistan & India)
Just about every other habit that a society exhibits is straightforward or self explanatory, the losing side of a war loses power, etc. simple stuff like that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

chapter 1: good, evil, and perception

And of course, we start with something simple, black and white, right? Wrong. Good and evil is actually a very grayscaled concept in this world, especially when you think about some of the difficult situations that one will have to face in life, such as having to lay off workers or lose money due to a sharp decline in economy. The differences between right and wrong can sometimes be very clear, but sometimes it can be very vague. Other times, it doesn't even matter whether you know what's right or wrong because you lose your choice in the matter, due to uncontrollable conditions (threat, impulsive reactions). The reality of the matter is, all of the good and evil that can possibly exist is merely man-made. There is no natural good and evil, otherwise animals killing and eating each other would probably be considered as such, even though its for the mere purpose for survival. This creation of good in evil is extremely prevalent in religion, where good and evil is skewed to include only the things that said religion wishes to include. In the end, it good and even is just a concept. General perceptions of positive and negative emotions do exist, but it is in fact us that end up labeling what is good and what is evil. G&E also exemplifies the fact that this world is mostly comprised of comparisons. Everything that exists in life we see as relative to another. This is the way our perceptions work. to say that something tastes "delicious" is relative to it tasting horrible. If all you eat is dirt for half of your life, then perhaps eating rice plain, a generally bland food by itself, would be a gourmet delicacy for you. At the same time, if royalty is treated to glamorous food for all of their life, but they suddenly become middle class and are forced to eat simple commoner food like porridge, then that level of food, albeit a decent food in general society, will probably taste terrible to said royalty. Good and evil works the same way, but it is more complex because just about every action we do in life can be scaled on a level of good and evil, which This can further be scaled to an emotional level. For example, someone may be generous and give money to the poor, and that would be a "good" action because one is being kind. At the same time, one can delve into the emotional level and ask why he/she is doing such a thing, and may come to see that the purpose for giving money is to make him/herself feel good for doing a good deed, which can be seen as selfish. These, of course, are all perceptions, and it is then where the ideas of G&E start becoming very vague. There are many situations where it will be difficult to judge whether someone is good or evil, and the only one who can truly know which it is is themselves. If you steal money for your family, is that good or evil? If you give someone food now to expect a favor in the future, is that good or evil? There are so many different possibilities with this idea that its difficult for another person to truly pinpoint your true beliefs, although being extroverted would probably help you in figuring it out.

So in the end, everything is just a perception. Everything that exists in life exists because we think it does. This explains itself in the questions, "if a tree falls and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" and, "If you are alone in the dark with no one to acknowledge you, do you exist?" This means that, to coin a concept, you need examples of both sides. Good isn't good if evil doesn't exist. Without contrasting forces, concepts don't come into fruition. Right in front of you you may see this text on a page, but its also a perception. These letters really aren't supposed to make any sense but because we gave them meaning as words we can understand them as symbols and communication. That's also perception. It's difficult to argue against the concept of perception because that argument is just another one of your perceptions. We don't really pay attention to these things because humans, like other animals, just like to live and take things as they are, but i guess its just kind of interesting to go into it. And, well, they say that wisdom is knowing that you know nothing, but it's more accurate to say that wisdom is knowing that what you know is only your beliefs caused by your experiences.

The end of comps and april fools!

and unfortunately, i have nothing to fool you people with. But anyway, yay for the end of comps (although my tests ended yesterday, haha =P). so after figuring out that i bombed the human test i now realize that i have to do pretty damn well on the take home comp (which i kind of think won't be TOO hard, considering the topic and logistics of the assignment don't seem too difficult) to maintain a B. *sigh*. But other than that, life is okay. i haven't posted something like this in a while so i guess now's a good time to? lol. i'm not sure. in any case, i have to figure out what to do for spring break, because even if i have take home projects to do and long term assignments, i still have a hell of a lot of open time to do stuff, meaning i need to find something to do. Any recommendations anyone? guess not. oh well, i hope i think of something. but in the end, there's really nothing interesting or new, besides thefact that i'm now into magic:the gathering since about 3 weeks ago. i really don't have much else to say, so i guess that concludes this post. later.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Introduction: The meaning of life

I'm sure you've asked yourself the question: "what am i doing here, why am i alive?" and "what's the meaning of life anyway?" and even though its not a CONTROVERSIAL question that can change the world- oh wait, it can. The way you answer this question actually reflects a lot about yourself, and for the most part there are two very BASIC theories, the Religious theory, and the Non-Religious theory (by the way, i am an atheist, so don't expect god preaching in this book).

-Religious theory- (you: religious person, they/he/she: non-religious person)

For the most part, this is pretty self explanatory, and it is to follow the wishes of whatever god you are currently following is asking of you. For Christianity, you repent for your sins and earn the respect of god to be placed in heaven in the afterlife, because Jesus has died for your sins. This idea is very concrete and solidified, because there is generally no change in the follower's mind because people are very hard set on this idea that whatever god says is final and must be followed (of course, people who follow a religion but aren't very devoted to it can be exempt from this). This isn't necessarily a BAD thing, as it allows the person to focus on the one thing they want to get done and accomplish it, but don't expect to get very far in conversation with a person who's beliefs differ. If you are like this you will probably be prone to negative judgment when you're beliefs become reflected in a major issue (such as global warming) because religious people are reputedly close-minded. I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but this is the stereotype, and i will say this now: everyone is discriminatory. Deal with it, because you are too; stereotypes are made because they're based on generally accurate observations, not because people are just mean and want to make an excuse to make fun of you. Moving on, life for these types of people can probably be considered boring by outside people because all they will see is that you are so closely following your religion that you don't see the awesome prowess of life, or other such similar arguments. You yourself though, may see a great world that has been open up to you by the god in which you believe in, so in reality your life may be awesome because of that god, so even though your life is god-governed, it is still great for you because you feel that god makes it so.

-Non-Religious- (you: non-religious person, he/she/they: religious person)

For whatever your viewpoint may be, the most important part of it is that you have Freedom. You are not limited to anything, and you can do just about whatever you want... well, aside from illegal things, which i will go into later when we get to law. Your may feel that life sucks, life is great, or even that there's no meaning to life and we just are, but all that really matters is that you have control of your life, and aren't tied down by "psh, religion." You are very likely liberal, or if not that, at the very least open minded about things, because there's a lot of things to explore in this world. They may think you're going to go to hell because you are a heretic, but who cares? You're having fun! Well, maybe you might care, if you're agnostic (which i am including in this category), but it probably won't be as big of a deal because you're free to do what you want. They may also think that because you aren't under god, you are blind and therefore are crazy, or at the very least, not going to do well in life because god isn't going to be with you, or because you don't accept god, but for you, that doesn't matter because you don't believe in god. The world is your playground and at your disposal, and what you do with it is up to you.

-My thoughts on this-
Well, My personal opinion about life is that we have absolutely no purpose in being here, and we were just put here with lack of a reason, except to reproduce, like nature intended. Society has created the reason for being successful and making it places, and religion has created the reason that you need to get closer to god while on earth. I can understand society's reason, but don't really accept it completely, and I see the point that religion is trying to make, but i don't buy it. In the end though, the most important thing is that NONE OF THIS MATTERS. Who cares what the reason we're alive is? Everyone has to realize that none of the reasoning crap you try to put in to the concept of existence will change the fact that we are still ALIVE, no matter how we justify it. If you don't like it, Kill yourself (well, finish this book first, then kill yourself), and if you do, then make the most of your life instead of wasting time pondering what you should do in life, and what is wrong with other people for not taking your viewpoint about life. We exist, we're alive, and we're doing okay, so we might as well have some fun while we're on earth, right? Right. So we should really get to it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cover and preface

"I didn't know what to title this because it has such a broad range of philosophy and sociology,but go ahead and open this book and begin reading if you're interested."(Seriously, that's that i plan on calling it.)


So I can probably guess that you, upon immediately opening this book figured that this was some shambles written by some guy with nothing better to do... and that's exactly right; well, the nothing better to do part anyways. You may stop reading now... or you can continue and read on. Really though, you don't have to, because all of these compiled thoughts are probably thoughts that we've all had before. I'm just putting it all together into something we can all understand. so now you're probably wondering what the hell am i going to talk, er, write about? Well, I kind of don't know either, but this book will simply be a compilation of patterns that I've noticed in human nature throughout my life, and stuff we should probably do to make all of our lives better, because of course, everyone want's to live a better life, right?... i hope. Part of you probably thinks that I'm absurd for thinking that i can change your opinion because I'm writing in such a conversational tone, and chances are i probably am. But if you think about it, most literature of the past was basically what I'm about to talk about now, except actually eloquently phrased with spectacular use of symbols, allusions, syntax, all neatly wrapped in a fictional situation. I'm merely simplifying that process and getting straight to the point, and maybe using some out of the ordinary analogies while i do so, just to make things a little more interesting. (how interesting can a book on philosophy get?- oh... wait...) So, without further ado, Lets begin.